“Judge the beauty of heaven and earth and analyze the reason of all things,” said Chuang Tzu.
Nature itself is beautiful. There is also beauty in scientific principles, experiments and practical projects that reveal the laws of nature. The beauty of science is available to HKWA students in school.
Picking vegetables at HKWA’s farm
In the garden-like HKWA, students “dismantle” the walls of classrooms, grow and pick vegetables in the farm, where they can cook and display, learn about the growth characteristics of plants and improve their ability to live independently. They get to know flowers, trees, insects and bird; they explore and think on their won and discuss in groups, enriching their real experience…Scientific learning like this can happen anytime and anywhere in HKWA.
NEST Student Society watching bird and plants in HKWA
HKWA leads quality education with courses of science and technology, art and physical education. In school, scientific inquiry takes place not only in regular physics, chemistry and biology courses, but in distinctive EP extended courses and societies. HKWA focuses on the cultivation of students’ scientific literacy, so that students can understand scientific knowledge and use research methods while getting them to think about the impact of science and technology on individuals and society.
HKWA’s science education is characterized by good equipment and strong classroom autonomy and aims to cultivate scientific literacy. Science course provide a platform and space for students to know more and understand and solve problems. It not only reflects the value of experiments, but is one of the ways to cultivate the core qualities and skills of modern talents. Students will grow into leaders with national feelings and international vision in the future after they acquire the knowledge and thinking modes and have innovation-based and critical thinking.
Chemistry: in the silence of laboratories
HKWA uses international science courses that conform to domestic and international educational standards. It encourages students to study independently and explore scientific phenomena, to connect life with scientific theories and understand advanced science and technology to lay a solid foundation for college application and future career planning.
Chemistry class is based on experiments and takes experiment as a carrier, means and cognitive approach. Starting from the nature of the subject and the needs of students, the course focuses on students’ understanding and analysis of experiments. Students take part in a complete scientific inquiry every time they perform an experiment, and dig out the real value of the experiment while analyzing the experimental literature.
For example, in the filtration experiment, HKWA students learn about theories and assumptions, such as the influence of errors on measurement or setting of variables. They focus on and improve details, and design and simulate the real situation based on the foreshadowing and inspiration. In the project of future cities, they start from filtered water sources to explore the sustainable development of urban water resources, experienced the process of “hypotheses proposal, experimental verification and result analysis” to truly feel the value of experiments.
The chemical preparation of new substances needed by human beings is innovation. When designing chemistry courses, teachers trace the source and cover extensively. They focus on not only “what is”, i.e. emphasizing the accuracy of knowledge, but on “why”, i.e. the significance of the knowledge to students. The class make students accept and remember “what is” only when they know the “why”. It gets to the nature of chemistry learning, meaningful and more interesting. Students also know about water circulation, water pollution, green production and consumption and so on.
Life is leisurely in the silence of mountains, rivers and vegetation.
HKWA’s biology curriculum works on the cultivation of students’ scientific hobbies and values and on their experience of scientific research. Students can feel the charm of scientific research in experience and improve their innovation in exploration.
Exploration in biology experiment class
In biology class, teachers will use visual aids, exploratory experiments, project-based learning, collaborative learning and other forms. The integration of dynamic and static curriculum design makes the biology class lively and interesting for students.
The students participate in various project-based learning both inside and outside the school, deepen their understanding in practice and explore the wonderful laws of harmony and unity of the nature. For example, in the school’s farm, they cultivate, harvest and cook “delicious meals” to share with others and communicate the concept of healthy diet. Senior students show around the juniors to learn about forsythia, honeysuckle, magnolia and other traditional Chinese medicine plants, exercising their leadership and creativity. When studying the Ancient West Peking Path, the students turned into “little scientists”, getting closer to plants with their intuition, inspiration, imagination and image thinking; they went deep into nature and developed their aesthetic ability.
Physics creates energy and takes the earth to “wander”.
HKWA’s physics curriculum adopts a spiral structure. Referring to the overall science curriculum, a rich hierarchical teaching system is put in place for physics courses, such as AP physics, Regular and Honor courses, to meet the needs of students at different academic levels.
Students will be given a challenge in each physics class. Teachers apply heuristic and inquiry-based teaching to motivate students to think positively and gain a better understanding of knowledge. In learning, students clarify the basic concepts, get familiar with basic laws, memorize the practical inferences and find out the mutual connections among physical principles. They integrate knowledge and put what they have learned into practice. Finally, there will leave a question for students to think about: where can they use what they learn today?
Experiment is the foundation of physics teaching. HKWA stresses that students must be part of experiment design and requires that they draw conclusions after information collection, scheme design and project implementation. Students are able to experience the steps and key parts of the experiment. For example, in mechanics experiments, students use overflow cups, kegs, dynamometers and other experimental equipment for measurement, analyze the relationship between the buoyancy of an object and the gravity of the water it displaces, and deduce Archimedes principle on their own.
Physics experiments also involve interdisciplinary study. The students tries to solve practical problems and improve their artistic design ability and teamwork by using the knowledge of other disciplines and project-based learning, combined with reality and hot current events.
Blossom in silence as one thinks about more after class.
Science education in HKWA is developed not only in chemistry, biology and physics classes, but after classes, such as student societies such as NEST, extended classes like robots, innovative thinking, unmanned aerial vehicles, future city designers and Lego programs.
In the weekly activities of NEST, students make full use of the natural environment of the garden-like school and independently select subjects to study and master scientific investigation methods. They observe plants, insects and birds closely, receive nature education by feeling with heart and have deeper thoughts on nature, life and universe.
As for the rich and colorful extended courses, the robot course adopting situational teaching mode enables HKWA students to use what they have learned as they “play”, and to apply theoretical knowledge of mathematics, physics and nature to develop robots, train their operation ability and logical thinking. The innovative thinking course not only develops students’ creative thinking, judgmental thinking, teamwork and the ability to solve practical problems, but fully embodies STEAM education concept that integrates science, technology, engineering, mathematics and art disciplines. Students learn the principle of flight and experience the fun of flight control in the UAV course, which also involves legal knowledge and moral education.
In the Future City Designer Project, HKWA students become “city planners” and work with each other to investigate and study solutions for “clean water for future generations”. They design and create future city models to solv